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before the u.s. economy goes over the fiscal cliff, law marriages are pointing fingers and playing the blame game. >> mario monti is saying he's available to lead italy, but only for a party willing to push his economic agenda. >> but he has competition in the form of sylvia berlusconi, italy's former prime minister tells cnbc he feels a responsibility to run. >> translator: i feel the need to return to the political arena to prevent the country from being delivered into the hands of a leftist party. >> and the crowds are out, the stores are ringing up those sales. but u.s. shoppers, they may be running lower on holiday spirit and analysts are saying that they're spending less, as well. >>> if you're just tuning in, thank you so much for joining us on the show here. a bit of a pre-christmas special for you. these are how the markets are looking at the u.s. open. still looking very negative. we had a high volume session on friday where the markets pulled back about 1% across the board. the markets are still in positive tear over to. but nonetheless, the negative sentiment around the
. under the laws, those withholding rates are supposed to go up because, as you know, all thoughts tax cuts that were passed over a decade ago were supposed to expire. and the irs is basically on the sideline waiting to see what happens on the hill between them and the president to see if, in fact, there's a reason to tell the current employers, hold on, there will be a freeze on those rates. if, in fact, they have to go to the new guidance, consumers will start to feel very early the hit to their paychecks of having gone over the fiscal cliff, even if there's auto deal that retroactively drags us back over the top of the cliff. >> it's an interesting point. greg, thank you so much. such a mess. >>> it was better news at the box office lately. hollywood is on track to post an all-time box office record this year. film lovers have flocked the theaters to see christmas day performances of les miserables and "unchanged." >>> stick around. still to come on the show, the summer olympics and u.s. election made to 2012 a bumper user for advertisers. will that continue in 2013? we'll ask the c
'll see estate taxes go up, investment taxes go up. there is an endless list of expiring provisions of law that will, in fact, expire if nothing is done. and i think even if something is done at this point, what you're looking at is something very scaled back, something very small and congress will have to come back next year and take a look at trying to get to some of those other issues. >> alistair here. that sounds about right to me, assuming that that scenario is how things play out. what sort of impact medium term do you think this is going to have on consumer and corporate confidence in america, given that the fiscal cliff is clearly weighed heavily on both of those in recent months? >> the sad thing, you know, from an observer's standpoint here is that there isn't much corporate or consumer confidence in the american government. and it's proved itself dysfunctional time and again over the last couple of years. what you hear now is not how people believe that there's going to be some last-minute deal, but how they remember the times that the t.a.r.p. bill, the fiscal bailout a few ye
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